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Court clarifies what constitutes special circumstances in absence of use (International reports)
In Cobalt Brands LLC v Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP the Federal Court has reinstated a previously expunged registration for the trademark USQUAEBACH for Scotch whisky. The court concluded that the owner of the mark, Cobalt Brands LLC, had met the criteria for special circumstances of non-use.
Federal Court affirms standing for innovative drug manufacturer (International reports)
What rights do innovative drug manufacturers have in situations where generics challenge certain Health Canada decisions but do not name the innovators as parties? A recent Federal Court decision highlights that innovators should monitor judicial review proceedings at the Federal Court for proceedings implicating their rights.
Dealing with a cease and desist letter: part 2 (International reports)
Part 1 of this article summarised the steps that should be taken if your company receives a cease and desist letter that alleges patent infringement. Part 2 now considers responses to letters sent by patent assertion entities (PAEs) specifically, and implications regarding PAE-initiated litigation in Canada.
Court rejects the concept of initial interest confusion (International reports)
The British Columbia Supreme Court has issued one of the first Canadian decisions addressing at length the issue of keyword advertising in the context of an action for passing off. The court found that the use of a competitor’s trademark in keyword advertising did not constitute passing off, and in doing so rejected the idea of initial interest confusion as a basis for a finding of a likelihood of confusion.
Challenging trademarks for non-use: lessons from the Federal Court of Appeal (International reports)
In the recent case of Re Spirits International BV the Federal Court of Appeal clarified the conditions under which a trademark owner can rely on related-party use of its trademark. This decision will be of interest to brand managers and related companies sharing IP assets.
Deleted article (International reports)
Canada prepares for Hague Agreement on international industrial design registrations (International reports)
The Industrial Design Act is to be updated, courtesy of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act 2. Driving the change is the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Once in force, the amended act will serve to align Canada’s laws on industrial designs with international standards and enable Canada and Canadians to participate in international registrations through the Hague Agreement.
Use in Canada, get it before it’s gone: Federal Court provides clarity on claiming use (International reports)
The Federal Court of Canada has provided some clarity on claiming use in Canada as a trademark filing basis, although some ambiguity remains. Ironically, this comes just as Canadian trademark law is on the cusp of a fundamental change to do away with use as a requirement for trademark registration.
Living off fame: protecting a celebrity's name as a trademark in Canada (International reports)
In a globalised market it is essential to protect a celebrity's name properly in each jurisdiction. However, in Canada, protecting a celebrity's name can be a legal headache. This is why understanding the different types of protection available and using them in a timely manner is important.
Supreme Court rules on ‘promise of the patent’ doctrine (International reports)
The Supreme Court has released its long-awaited decision in what has become perhaps one of the most hotly debated topics in Canadian patent law: whether the judicially created ‘promise of the patent’ utility doctrine has a proper place in the analysis of the validity of Canadian patents.
Be wary of paid advertisements: keyword advertising in Canada (International reports)
The use of competitors’ names in keyword advertising is an emerging area of the law of trademarks and passing off, but has not received judicial consideration in Canada until now. The British Columbia Supreme Court recently considered the issue of confusion as it has been developed in trademark jurisprudence when deciding whether the use of such keywords constituted misleading advertising.
CIPO consultation on proposed Patent Rule amendments (International reports)
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is conducting a public consultation on proposed amendments to the Patent Rules. The Patent Rules are being amended to enable the implementation of various outstanding amendments to the Patent Act.
Federal Court of Appeal grants minister of health the right to be wrong (International reports)
The Federal Court of Appeal recently held that the minister of health's decisions are to be reviewed on a standard of reasonableness, unlike prior Supreme Court jurisprudence, which had applied a correctness standard to the minister.
Patent law: 2015 year in review (International reports)
The year 2015 saw major developments in patent law. This article looks back on key cases, examines the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Canada, highlights changes in the law, provides an update on pharmaceutical regulation and considers the Competition Bureau's interaction with patent matters.
Federal Court of Appeal clarifies word mark considerations when assessing likelihood of confusion (International reports)
The Federal Court of Appeal recently clarified that, when considering confusion, the Trademarks Opposition Board need not consider all of the potential ways in which an opponent’s registered word mark may be depicted.
Can your ideas secure your loan? (International reports)
Growing companies often have issues with cash flow, and one way for them to deal with this is to use IP assets as collateral for a loan. However, by using intellectual property as security, a company agrees in advance that the lender may exercise certain rights over it should it default on the loan.
Supreme Court finds Facebook’s forum selection clause unenforceable (International reports)
Facebook’s forum selection clause was recently found unenforceable by the Supreme Court, allowing a class action brought under the British Columbia Privacy Act to move forward in the British Columbia courts.
Federal Court introduces new measures to streamline IP litigation (International reports)
The Federal Court has issued a practice notice providing new measures that seek to improve case management of complex litigation, including IP litigation. The measures designed to achieve increased proportionality in court proceedings streamline certain aspects of IP litigation and should result in both time and cost savings for litigants.
Are trademark surveys worth the cost? (International reports)
Owing to decades of experience and scientific knowledge, properly conducted trademark surveys can assess the perceptions of selected universes of consumers with reasonable accuracy. However, the question remains whether the probative value of a trademark survey justifies its cost.
Use of IP audits to optimise patent lifecycle management (International reports)
The process of securing allowances of patents usually takes three, four or even five years from the priority filing date, depending on subject matter and the jurisdiction where the patents were prosecuted. Patent applications with great potential value at the time of filing may lose their corporate and/or commercial relevance over time. Therefore, patent lifecycle management is vital.
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